Every day we hear of new innovations for the future of the connected vehicle. BMW recently outlined its vision – a vehicle that is so connected to the broader Internet of Things that it communicates with other devices and gadgets in your home and offers conveniences that go beyond the driving experience.
Innovations provide benefits, but where there’s a lock, there’s a pick. All this connectivity between devices and vehicles creates concerns about personal data being at risk. It’s created the possibility of a hacker remotely taking control of a vehicle’s onboard computer and stealing data or even gaining control of the car.
While those concerns are legitimate, the reality is that many of the well-publicized incidents occurred because the thief had physical access to the vehicle. While those concerns are legitimate and we need to be aware of developing situations, the best defense is remaining diligent when it comes to security.
Today’s connected vehicle thief uses sophisticated tactics like VIN-cloning and stolen credit reports to finance vehicles. This new era in vehicle theft has resulted in a troubling link between car theft and identity theft, as thieves not only take a person’s vehicle, but their identity when they get access to documents such as a vehicle registration or bills. They also have access the owner’s digital information stored in the vehicle.
Fortunately, simple and common sense measures can reduce the chances that your vehicle, and your identity, will be stolen. Not leaving your vehicle running or unattended, and concealing valuables in your vehicle make it less likely your vehicle will be stolen. In addition, using a stolen vehicle recovery system can help law enforcement officials recover your vehicle quickly, making it possible that the thieves who stole your vehicle will be apprehended before further damage is done.
We’re excited by the limitless possibilities the connected vehicle offers to make our lives better. While we need to be cognizant and vigilant about advanced methods, the more direct threat is from the connected and increasingly creative vehicle thief – who may be a “puffer” looking for vehicles running unattended, or who knows how to copy a smart key.
Read more about the connected vehicle thief by downloading our 2015 Recovery Statistics Report infographic.